Engraving Granite

Hi there,

Who should I ask for permission to use the Multicam to engrave granite? I will complete all the required SIG training for the Multicam.

I have a small, thin granite tile (1 sqft) that need to be engraved with an 1/8" deep groove. I will provide the necessary diamond bur bits and a shallow bath of water to collect any dust and keep the bit cool.

I will run the engraving at an extremely slow feed rate to prevent any splashing, and remove only small amounts of granite with each pass.

Please advise.

Thanks
Damian

I suspect the small Shapeoko will be a better choice.

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Thanks, Brian. It would definitely be easier working on that smaller machine, but cutting fluid is not allowed on that one so I would probably not be allowed to use a water bath or even to wet the bit as it is moving slowly along. Is the Woodshop group in charge of both machines?

Something that size is well within the Shapeoko’s capability and I worry about water anywhere near the (a) multicam table and (b) spindle.

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Thanks, guys. I agree - the small Shapeoko is a better fit. Who do I ask for permission to use water cooling on that? I want to make sure that I don’t break any of the rules :slight_smile:

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You have used the term engrave. Can you share the artwork? There is more than one way to engrave granite.

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There is a shapeoko in wood shop but I’m not sure of its status. If it belongs to woodshop then @IanLee is your guy.

Not sure on any others.

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Shapeoko 2 is woodshop’s:
https://dallasmakerspace.org/wiki/Tools#Woodshop

Shapeoko 3 XXL is Machine Shop’s PIGSIG:
https://dallasmakerspace.org/wiki/Tools#Plastics_.26_Composites

Current chairs can be found here: Current Chairpersons - Dallas Makerspace
Looks like Machine Shop is Tim Bene:

and Woodshop as noted, is Ian Lee
image

As for engraving granite, more info about what you’re trying to accomplish might lead to better suggestions, but I’m about 95% sure WoodShop is going to say “no” to wet anything, and the PIGSIG gets rated by me about the same for their Shapeoko. That doesn’t mean what you’re doing can’t be done here; just might need a different process. For example, I had never considered lasering granite, but we have (had?) a really nifty tile with a photo rastered on it that proved otherwise…

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As for the PIG sig, thats going to be a hard no. Same is going to be for any of our(machine shop/pig sig) other equipment. Reasoning for it is granite is very abrasive. Its just like taking sandpaper to it.

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Not yet on the Wiki is the CNC that Glassworks owns. We haven’t yet got it functional, but it doesn’t sound like it’s going to take much. However, look at laser. If that can meet the need, that’s functional and largely supported.

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Also a no from woodshop for the reasons stated above.

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Water in the small shapeoko, which has an air cooled spindle and is substantially of wood construction, would be very bad.

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If you could share more details about your job, there are probably ways to accomplish your goal that don’t involve cutting stone on the CNC routers that aren’t appropriate for cutting stone.

What’s the profile of the groove - v-shaped, round, square bottomed? Is it straight lines or an intricate pattern?

The more info you can provide the better the membership and volunteers can help you.

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Hi guys. Thanks for all your input!

I will not use any of the routers :slight_smile:

Does anyone have other suggestions for how to do this? I’ll be glad to pay any member who has access to the required equipment. I need one for a prototype and then hope to buy 100 of them.

Please share if you know of any local businesses that could do this. If all else fails, I’ll try a headstone manufacturer, lol.

I need a 1/4" wide, 1/8" deep groove cut into the surface of a 3/8" thick marble tile. The groove should have a profile with a square bottom. The path of the groove is in the shape of a square, about 3/8" away from the edges of the tile. I’ve attached a photo of the desired outcome.

Engraving was the wrong word to use - this is more of a carving. I’m not sure if lasers can be used to cut a groove that deep. Can chemical etchers be used? Would they leave a relatively smooth bottom to the groove?

Any help or additional advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks
Damian

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I’d suggest finding a stone manufacturing company, headstone or counter tops or the like.

Guessing on all of this, Cutting granite like what you’re describing is probably going to require diamond tooling, active cooling, and probably most effective in a water bed- not something we have.

There’s probably several posts on google on people making DIY CNCs to do something like this- that’s probably your best bet for guidance if you want to go down the DIY route.

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Jast,

Thanks for the long list of tools and machines we own! I did not know such a list existed. I will be showing it off to my jealous friends, for sure.

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perhaps a waterjet will work.

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The problem with waterjet is that it’s most suitable for cutting rather than carving. If you need a uniform flat-bottom groove that’s going to be difficult or impossible with waterjet.

Seems routing is the way to do this but it is sloppy and either wet or dusty and unsuitable for doing on our equipment. I don’t even know if the shapeoko has the muscle to get it done.

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Quick and VERY dirty:

Pick up a router at a pawn shop. Equip it with a diamond bit. Make a jig / template for the tile. Wear appropriate PPE and run all the dust collection possible, and manually rout the groove using a template.

If it seems like what you want, farm out the production of 100 to a stone/countertop place.

Then throw away the pawn-shop router.

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